Fool's Gold came out on DVD earlier this week, and thus another forgettable romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey. While I respect his desire to cater to his one reliable fanbase - women who like to see him with his shirt off - this guy is capable of so much more. Teaming up with McConaughey for the second time is Kate Hudson, and the result is like a mildly funnier version of Into the Blue, which wasn't exactly the most exciting film in the world.
The movie has McConaughey playing a treasure hunter who has made a career out of not doing much at all other than swimming for gold (which continues to elude him), walking around shirtless and holding his much more grounded and intelligent wife, played by Hudson, back in her career. To make matters worse, he has found himself deep in debt to a local rapper/gangster - and that his wife has reluctantly divorced him. On the flip side, he believes he's finally found the missing armada gold he's spent his life searching for, and he manages to pull Hudson back into the mix. Joined by Donald Sutherland as Hudson's rich boss and the man's extremely ditzy daughter (Alexis Dziena), the four set out to get the treasure and avoid the wrath of the token black rapper/gangster guy.
Fool's Gold is harmless enough, though harmless is not a level any film should aim for. McConaughey plays his typical laid back self, which is surprisingly entertaining to watch, and Kate Hudson is good looking, so she's easy to watch. Unfortunately, McConaughey spends more of his time shirtless than Hudson, and neither seem to have an immense amount of chemistry with one another, despite having already starred in a romantic comedy a few years back: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. That movie wasn't great to begin with, but it had its charm and some laughs; Fool's Gold is more chuckle-inducing, and that's about it.
More than anything, Fool's Gold seems extremely unorganized and unfocused. The gold remains an afterthought for the most part, and instead the film chooses to focus on the growing relationship between Sutherland and his daughter. Honestly, some of the scenes between the two seemed like they were from an entirely different movie. In fact, the presence of their characters at all is a bit questionable. If anything, I would have kept the camera's sole focus on McConaughey and Hudson, as with the right amount of screen time I probably would have warmed to their relationship. I like the concept of them being recent divorcees who both desperately want to find the gold, but the movie never convinces me that that is the purpose of the movie. There's some action, lots and lots of concussions (which don't evoke laughs the way the director intended them to) and some sprinkles of romance, but they never connect in a synergistic way.
A few scenes removed and a few added would have made a real difference, as Fool's Gold comes off as carelessly assembled. I'm pretty sure the director was pleased with his choice of actors and figured they'd carry the picture regardless of its contents, and that's what we get. Nevertheless, Fool's Gold is just entertaining enough to warrant its running time. Just.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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